Logic, is no opinion, that is why it is called logic.Ok, it is your opinion. Let us agree to disagree here.
OP's question is a common modern historical thesis.No it doesn’t. At least I didn’t saw that written in the first post or in the thread title.
I am confused, who made those claims? And this question is rhetorical, since I didn’t noticed that anyone said that. But in the sequence of posts I eventually missed it.
I don’t know why you are addressing this to me, you should address this to the person that claimed that the professionals disappeared. If you find that person…
He did not invented it.
It is a counter thesis that developed in the last decades, because before the common perception was that gun-powder replaced knights.
Now the perception is that the infantry became more professional showed by the Swiss mercenaries as the turning point.
That thesis has a backrgound of the 19th century, because of the Napoleonic warfare militaries of that time considered the development level of their infantry as superior and downgraded medieval infantry.
That spreads at the moment because most know only second hand sources and do not know (because of Sir Oman and the like) that a medieval miltiary army was exactly like every force before and after (only the equipment changed/developed).
And I am adressing the thesis directly and show its flaws, as mercenaries already replaced amateure infantry in the 12th- 13th century and by that automatically question the dominance of knights by a military perception how warfare developed.
What is based on that thesis. If they are dominant - then somebody else is not. Right? So:Again you should ask that to the person that claimed that. Professional infantry probably existed since pre-historical times, the issue here is “dominant force on medieval battlefields”.
The knights were not like machine-guns vs. arrows. A machine-gun is a dominant force if you got none.
The cavalry is in constant progress, something you argeed on.
Knights/cav only seems to be more dominant – because of events like Hastings that are by authors mispresented:
The British forces were not even able to throw vikings out of their country.
And they suddenly face Normanns who come from the culture (the Franks; leading military power in development) that made vikings run.
All odds are in such a battle against them (the British).
No big achievement of the Normanns. That they claimed the cav was the birth of Christ I do believe.
Kroissenburg 1260 – 7000 panzerrider vs.an Hungarian army.
That German guys are from the top of the military development against people who fought 300 years before, like in the stone-age with horse-archers and no infantry.
That is like an US-America Marine Corps vs. lately founded Afghanistan Army.
Same thing repeated in the Battle of Kressenbrunn of the same year between Austrian/Boehmians vs. Hungarians while they had equal numbers (ca. 30.000).
While in the Battle on the Ice (1246) the Novogrod city guard (and with all respect to the history of Novogrod, but they are really not Sparta) held off Danish+German veteran knights.
The 7:1 ratio (that Ichon quoted) did not apply here or anywhere EXCEPT in propaganda.
1115 German Emperor Henry V. vs. (New-)Saxon uprising in Welfesholz (here were dukes involved, but that is an uprising of the people). The Imperial army lost.
Battle of Montaperti 1260 – again the side with more cav (and more infantry) lost. Here German mercs were involved – ca. 2000 professional infantrists, that went to Siena (Italy) to fight there.
More or less 5000 on horse back (let it be 800 knights) and +20.000 infantry.
Battle of Doffingen 1388 – pyrrhic victory of an army of knights and prof. soldiers of cities vs. farmers+landlords (ca. 2000 on each side) resulted into the loss of power for the cities.
Here farmers took out mercenaries/professional soldiers.
Sealed with another loss of cities that resulted into more propaganda of the superiority of noble knights, while the other side had knights, too - but mercenaries.
Battle on the Marchfeld 1278 – most influencal battle in the perception of medieval warfare, as it laid the foundation for the Habsburgs and was political used (now you have to know that the Habsburgs even employed professional forgers to get onto the throne; they used every trick of the book – that is why that battle is so known)– the dominant force with more knights lost.
Again I said before – I do not want to write a book, but I could name here dozens of such events that questions the idea that anyhow noble knights were more dominant or important than the rest of the forces.
And these knights here are the top of the development level. So better equipped and trained nobody could be.
But it is very common by historians to use battles like Hastings or Gransee (superior knight force, what is unfortunately based on the propaganda of the winning side – and what is left out then in historical works that the same sources mention that the battle was won by infantry who took that knights out) to find support for a thesis.
I tried to avoid this but Oman is a British conservative and so does his research look like.
And Patterson... If an historian tells me that horses can not charge people, where we do have in every museum here armor for exactly that purpose and multiple modern military manuals of the last 200 years (I do not even want him to read the stuff from 1000 years ago – as horse owner you should be familar with the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, they do preform figueres that are based on if your horse is stuck in infantry after a charge from the medieval time) – I can not have any high respect of any further research work.
If he does not even know how cavalry works - why does he write a book about cavalry units?
That does not compute with me.
And then I really do not care anymore what his ideas are about military retreats or he thinks a battle looks like , because it takes me 30 minutes and I find dozens of contradictory examples.
Here you got a some already, where they btw charged into infantry all the time.
But I serioulsy explained this now over and over... that was the last time...